My exposure to the need for low-income brothers and sisters to have care for their pets came back in Texas about 10 years ago. I mentioned my friend Janna on the Poverty page. Janna had a small, shaggy white dog who was covered with breast tumors. Her fur was matted, she was flea-infested, and she lived on expired canned people food.

Some of the lovely people in the ward recognized that Janna’s dog was in bad shape and offered to pay for a veterinary visit. The outcome of that visit was not unexpected — Janna’s dog had to be put to sleep. It was devastating for Janna but it highlighted the bigger problem, and that is: People in poverty often need assistance not just with their own healthcare and food, with with veterinary care and pet food. You really can’t just tell them to get rid of their pets. Oftentimes, their dogs and cats are the only creatures left on the planet they can truly call “family”, and it’s just unbearably cruel to ask them to part with them.

I was asked to look after a young woman in my ward in Colorado. She had been a nurse, had an active seizure disorder, had broken her shoulders during one seizure and had become addicted to narcotics, hence, she lost her license and fell into extreme poverty.

Anna had a tiny seizure dog who often alerted on seizures right in the middle of sacrament meeting. I was the organist and could see the dog acting up. I would fly off the bench and get Anna out to the couch in the foyer just in time for a full-blown seizure.

That poor dog was living on potato chips when I first met Anna. I paid for his dog food out of my own pocket and was glad to do it. Sadly, I only knew Anna for about a year, maybe a little longer. Anna died at the age of 36 and her dog was adopted by her boyfriend. The boyfriend was found dead in his van in another state and we don’t know what became of the dog.

Listed here are some programs, some national, some just in Colorado, that help to care for the pets of low-income people.

Non-routine health care, such as for injuries

Colorado’s Helping Hands – Founded by Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, the folks who host Emergency Vets on Animal Planet

General non-profit veterinary hospital

Harrison Memorial Veterinary Hospital – Can charge on a sliding fee basis

Low-cost spay/neuter
Google on +”low-cost” +spay +neuter [and your city, state, locality]

Database of Low-Cost Spay/Neuter clinics worldwide and in the United States, searchable by state, province, county, area code, or zip code

MaxFund.org – Non-profit no-kill shelter with spay/neuter/vaccinations in the Denver area

Cat Care Society – Listing of low-cost spay/neuter/vaccination programs in the Denver area

Grant programs

Maddies Fund

Listing of non-profit veterinary organizations

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One Response to “Veterinary Care – Low Cost”

  1. Donna Says:

    Thanks for trying to help. I guess SC doesn’t really have anywhere for low income people to bring their sick pets. I do appreciate you trying to help those around you tho.
    Take care and God Bless

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